Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are killed accidentally every year in commercial marine fisheries. This includes globally threatened species, such as an estimated 100,000 albatrosses. This bycatch of non-target species is a common side-effect of the fishing industry. The Albatross Task Force (ATF) is the world’s first international team of seabird bycatch mitigation instructors. Since 2006, it has successfully reduced the incidental bycatch of albatrosses, petrels and other seabirds in targeted fisheries, by introducing simple and practical fishing techniques and mitigation measures.
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In Europe, as in the rest of the world, human activities are causing rapid biodiversity loss. Over the last two decades, the EU has been trying to tackle this in various ways, including through the Natura 2000 Network of protected areas. This includes over 27 000 protected areas, covering over million km2, making it the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. The Natura 2000 Network creates a framework for mainstreaming conservation into a range of sectors. The European Commission led the development of the Natura 2000 Network.
European countries are planning massive investments in renewable energy, which will mean that many more transmission lines will be needed to transport the energy produced. This is essential for reducing carbon emissions, but without careful planning, transmission lines can create a range of risks for biodiversity. The Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) was launched in 2009 as a neutral platform, enabling Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and NGOs from across Europe to come together as equal partners.
Accidental capture (“bycatch”) of a wide range of non-target species is a significant issue for the fishing industry, and for marine biodiversity. Bycatch has a severe impact on many charismatic marine species such as albatrosses, cetaceans, sharks and sea turtles, which often cross vast distances and can be highly vulnerable to bycatch. Every year longline and trawl fishing fleets kill an estimated 300,000 seabirds, driving some albatross species towards extinction.
At the end of the European summer, two million soaring birds head south towards Africa. Their route, along the Red Sea/Rift Valley flyway, is the second most important flyway for soaring birds in the world. However, just as these areas are essential to the birds’ survival, so too are they vital for human populations, and host a growing concentration of development and energy infrastructure. If power lines and wind turbines are poorly sited along the flyway, the cumulative impacts can add up to threaten entire bird populations.
The Love. Not Loss communications campaign is a call to action by IUCN’s Commission on Education and Communication (CEC), to inspire the conservation community to change its message strategy from loss to a deep sense of awe and wonder. CEC has created a compelling and powerful set of video messages that artfully convey a positive approach to inspiring hope for creating a healthy and sustainable future. You can access them here: http://goo.gl/7pIB9a.
Earth Skills Network (ESN) is a collaboration between Earthwatch, UNESCO, IUCN & businesses. It connects leaders from the business and conservation sector through mentoring & skill-sharing. Through ESN, Protected Areas (PAs) can access relevant skills within businesses & build constructive dialogue on the need to manage environmental impacts. Through ESN, businesses can identify solutions to pressures on natural resources & nurture sustainable business leadership.
This best practice provides practical guidance on transitioning from marine spatial planning (MSP) into plan implementation in varying ecological, socio and economic contexts.
Protected areas are one of the most direct, cost-effective way of simultaneously achieving societal goals of conserving biodiversity, tackling development challenges and fostering climate resilience.
Large scale marine protected areas must avoid inequitable costs on developing States. In some contexts, this can be achieved through careful design and complementarity with fisheries management regimes to avoid significant reductions in fisheries revenue or impacts on local community livelihoods and food security, and financial investments to mitigate management costs. In other circumstances, rights based management frameworks can be utilised to share costs through the transferral of fishing effort with minimal impact on revenue.